Ian Stanley GrahamSenior Consulting Manager, IT Strategy and Planning
Technology and Solutions, BMO Financial Group
120 Bloor Street East, 5th Floor
Toronto, Ontario, CANADA M4W 1B7
|Email (W):||ian DOT graham [AT] bmo DOT com|
|Email (P):||ian DOT graham [AT] utoronto DOT ca|
I work in the IT Strategy and Planning group of BMO Financial Group, helping the bank's business and technology executives figure out how to evolve their IT environments and processes to deliver the best value to the business, and to the bank's customers. Prior to BMO I was at the Centre for Academic Technology of the University of Toronto, where I consulted and lectured on Internet and Instructional technologies. While at UofT, I co-founded Groveware Technologies, an Internet startup focused on XML-based applications. I've written eight books on Web and Internet technologies, and from 2003-2005 was a regular columnist on XML technologies for CPU magazine. I have lectured around the world on these and other topics.
I also have a PhD in theoretical physics, with around 20 published research papers.
- Approaches for improved software lifecycle quality and productivity
- Driving IT organizational best practices; IT innovation
- Open content, open source, and open access (e.g. Wikimedia, future publishing models)
- Cultural impacts of Web-media
Long (winded) Biography
The Academic Part
I obtained a PhD in Physics from McGill University in 1987, followed by postdoctoral work in theoretical chemistry at the University of Toronto, and a research associateship in theoretical materials science at McGill's Centre for the Physics of Materials and the Canadian National Research Council's Industrial Materials Institute. I then took a contract as a visiting professor in the physics department of the University of the Balearic Islands in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
I then changed careers, moving to software architecture and development (physics jobs were few and far between). Since much of my research involved programming and simulation, this was a natural transition.
The Half-academic Part
I moved to the Instructional and Research Computing Group at the University of Toronto (now the Centre for Academic Technology). My role was to consult and instruct on hypertext, multimedia, and instructional application design, across all levels of the organization. I was thus fortunate to be deeply involved in Web technologies from the very early days. In 1993 and 1994 I spent a lot of time research and writing about the Web, and participated in lively and stimulating mailing-list discussions on the design of HTML and HTTP (ahh, those were the days!). My writing included an online tutorial on HTML which for some time was the most popular HTML tutoral site in the world.
Because of the tutorial's success, I was approached to write a book. The result was The HTML Sourcebook, a resource book on HTML and the World Wide Web, published in late March, 1995. This became a world-wide bestseller. Make that a 'technical' book bestseller – John Grisham or Ian Rankin had nothing to worry about! But the success did lead to a further seven books.
In late-1996 I co-founded Groveware Technologies. I led the technology and product development teams that built out our products. I stayed with the company until early 1999, when I left owing to financial problems in the business and differences with the co-founder. I was still working at the University, but part-time: the rest of my time was filled by book writing and contract consulting (with venture-funded startups). I also served as chair of Developer's Day for the 8th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW8).
Running a startup piqued my interest in business, and in late 2000 I relinquished my toehold in academia and joined the Emerging Business Strategies group of the Bank of Montreal (BMO). My role was to look at new (often Internet-related) business opportunities and determine their business and technology strengths and weaknesses. This let me greatly expand on my business knowledge, and gave me much experience critically analyzing business case proposals. This is an immensely useful skill that was often forgotten in the pre-2000 era of Internet hype!
I next moved to the IT Strategy and Planning Group, an internal consulting practice at BMO. My role is to work with groups within the company (BMO is big, with many lines of business) to help them understand how to manage and evolve their technologies to support new business goals. This means learning about each business and its strategy, and then finding the right technology direction for them given the existing technology, the available budget, and the acceptable level of risk. This work often includes business and/or technical diligence of potential partners or vendors.
I also took on a software process improvement role: working with the technology teams to find ways of improving the overall development lifecycle, from project inception to deployment to production.
As you can guess, I enjoy writing. I previously mentioned my books, but I've also given many Web and Internet-related talks. I also was, for around three years, a monthly XML technologies columnist technologies for CPU (Computer Power User) magazine. Many of these articles (under the "Coder's Corner" byline) had online examples: these are available from this web site.
I have hobbies, but you'll need to look to the Hobbies to read about them.